Following a recent discussion in chat and a year-old meta discussion, it seems to be best to get rid of the tag . The tag is broad and used in many different ways, so I find it pretty useless.

See the linked qestion for a list of several distinct ways the tag is used. We have more specific tags (, , , , , …), but the tag is still very common.

Here is what the current plan is to do:

  • Create new tags and for the two most typical translation directions. (Rarer languages can maybe simply use a tag like , but I prefer the format "X-to-Y-translation".)

  • Go through all translation questions and see if they need retagging (translations from Latin to English, the other direction can be left untouched). Some questions are best described by what is being translated (a verb, a name, a syntactical quirk, a conjunctive...), so no translation tag may be needed at all.

  • Change all tags to automatically (merge without synonymization), after having retagged those questions that ask for some other kind of translation. (This is our most common translation direction, so it saves some trouble not to retag all by hand.)

  • Create tag synonyms, e.g. for , so that some appropriate tags are suggested when one starts typing "translation" in the tag box. (This is why we have the synonym for .) In fact, the longer tag names are more descriptive, so I prefer to make them the main tags. The name of the main tag is easy to switch later with a couple of clicks.

  • Blacklist the tag to avoid it being recreated. We have already blacklisted , and I think is very similar in breadth.

Does this sound reasonable? If there are no strong arguments against the operation, we will start executing it after about June 17. (Update: The due date has come and we are going forward with this.)

Are there tags related to translation we should add in this process? I'm sure some needs will be recognized along the way. For example, it's not clear whether we need a Greek translation tag of some kind (that wouldn't be covered by, say, and together).

Anyone is welcome to participate in the tag cleanup project, but let us first wait a couple of weeks (until June 17) in case there are reasons to plan more or drop the plan. If you edit old questions, please consider also making other improvements and try to limit yourself to about three edits per day. Every edit bumps the question to the front page, and we don't want to lose new questions in the flood of edited old ones. A tag merge ( > ) does not bump questions, which is one of the reasons I would merge the existing big tag with its most common "daughter".

If we want to rename the tags or introduce new synonyms later, that can be done with little effort. The goal here is to move to a more useful classification, whether the class names are final or not.

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    Just to understand the extent of language tags, shold we tag Spanish on this: latin.stackexchange.com/questions/6592/… ? – Rafael May 31 '18 at 20:55
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    @Rafael Yes, it makes sense to tag that spanish, as it compares Spanish and Latin. – Joonas Ilmavirta May 31 '18 at 21:23
  • Should there be a separate tag for textbook exercise translations (e.g. latin.stackexchange.com/questions/6677/…) – Rafael Jun 12 '18 at 14:04
  • @Rafael That's a worthwhile question. I have an opinion, but I'd rather discuss that in a separate meta discussion. Do you want to ask that? – Joonas Ilmavirta Jun 12 '18 at 16:49
  • I would support the creation of a Greek-to-English and English-to-Greek tags. I also think the sentence-translation is a bit redundant. – luchonacho Dec 6 '18 at 9:38
  • @luchonacho Quite a lot of our translation questions concern mottoes or individual words. Translating sentences is different, and hence the tag. But I agree that it's somewhat secondary. Concerning Greek: I can't recall a single translation question from English to Greek. How about "greek-translation", which would cover translations to and from English, Latin, Hebrew, and potentially other languages. Translations between Greek and Latin or Hebrew come up naturally with the Bible. Would a single "greek-translation" tag be too broad? – Joonas Ilmavirta Dec 6 '18 at 16:23
  • Well, there are 247 questions tagged Greek. How many of them are about translating a phrase from English or other language into Greek (or viceversa), don't know. Maybe in the future, as more Greek questions come up, a greater differentiation (like for Latin) can be done. greek-translation could suffice for now. – luchonacho Dec 6 '18 at 17:10


This is a placeholder for people voting yes to Joonas' proposal.

  • A possible candidate for an additional translation tag is textbook exercise translations. – Rafael Jun 12 '18 at 17:22
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    I think "textbook-exercise-translation" would be too specific for a tag. I think "textbook-exercise" or something similar is worth discussing, but it's not related to the translation cleanup directly, so a separate meta discussion might be more appropriate. (As always, you and others are free to disagree!) – Joonas Ilmavirta Jun 12 '18 at 17:32

I went through a number of questions, and I think the manual process is now complete. The tag will be automatically replaced with when a mod clicks a button, so the ones in need of just that change need not be edited manually. Only those should remain now, and the few mistakes that will inevitably be there can be fixed later.

Of course, any improving edits are welcome on any question! If you can check the tags while at it, that'd be appreciated.

  • Don't know Greek, so prefer to leave the above to others. Maybe you should ping someone to do this, so finally this answer can be eliminated! (thanks for putting it together anyway!) – luchonacho Mar 23 '19 at 9:49

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